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Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
And with Him Came the West
Directed by Mike Plante • 2019 • United States
Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand up? This smartly entertaining pop-culture detective story examines what happens when real-life history becomes inextricably entwined with Hollywood mythmaking. With the 1881 gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Wyatt Earp became a legend, the embodiment of the tough frontier lawman. The gunfight came to epitomize everything the Wild West stood for: good guys shooting it out against bad guys in a thrilling duel. Never mind that the real event was thirty seconds long, the motivations behind it complex, and Earp himself was never actually shot in a gunfight. Earp wanted us to forget all that. He decided he could rewrite history through the magic of movies, hanging out in 1920s Hollywood to try to get a film made about his life. And it actually worked. In AND WITH HIM CAME THE WEST, filmmaker Mike Plante thoughtfully explores the relationship between the Wyatt Earp legend and the emergence of filmmaking as a popular medium, demonstrating the mutability of historical record and the power of moving images to shape national memory.